We Didn’t See Our Kids for 109 Days

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Weir placed a bed in his office and, for a stretch, only went home to shower. He said he fell into a routine: Wake up, FaceTime with the girls, work for 14 hours, eat standing up, get some sleep and do it again.

“We were seeing people our age, who have kids, dying in the hospital from Covid-19,” Weir said. “It was terrifying.”

Weir and Yang had met at New York University in 2007 and found they had a lot in common, including the same birthday. He was a resident, and Yang, who immigrated to the United States at 7, was in her final year of medical school. They pursued their careers on separate coasts but stayed together, eventually returning to New York City and marrying in 2012.

In May, as New York City’s Covid-19 cases began decreasing, their colleagues started reuniting with their children. Meanwhile, Weir and Yang said they sat together in their living room, longing to hear the clanking of kids’ toys.

Carmichael did the best she could to help, taking more than 1,000 pictures and 100 videos of Ainsley and Adeline. She said she wanted her sister and brother-in-law to feel as if they weren’t missing a moment. But they were, especially with Adeline. One day, while posing for the camera, she spoke her first word: “Cheese.”

“Adeline was barely walking” when she arrived, Carmichael said. “But now she runs around and confidently climbs onto the dining room table. You turn around for two seconds and it’s like, ‘Ah!’”

Credit…Natalie Keyssar for The New York Times

The videos, pictures and FaceTime conversations helped Yang and Weir endure the pandemic’s peak, but by May they agonized over missing Adeline’s first teeth or Ainsley’s pronouncing certain words correctly. Swimsuit was no longer “swim-soup.”

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